Revenue from coal plant decommissioning services will account for a total of $5.3bn from 2013-20, according to a report from Navigant Research.
The report predicts that companies will shut their aging coal plants due to strict environmental regulations, competition from cleaner gas plants and public pressure for green energy.
The companies involved in the decommissioning processes will have large opportunities in the sector.
The part of the decommissioning process is not costly compared to the actual demolition of the plant, but according to the report the value of the scrap metal from the plant on the open market will, in some cases, fully offset the cost of demolition.
The retirement of coal plants will take place in many countries, but the majority will be in North America and western Europe.
Total market share for decommissioning services in these two regions will increase from $455m in 2013 to $1.3bn by 2016.
In many of the decommissioning projects environmental remediation is the most expensive phase.
Environmental remediation involves disposing of coal ash, which is typically stored in ponds onsite.
Navigant Research editorial director Richard Martin said, "Utilities and other plant owners face a series of complex decisions in retiring aging coal plants.
"Developing a strategic plan, in consultation with a company that has experience in these major plant decommissioning projects, will be a critical element of the process of retiring these facilities and remediating the associated environmental issues."
Image: Revenue from coal plant decommissioning services is expected to account for a total of $5.3bn from 2013-20. Photo: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.